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of -- this is the last man to do it -- gregory the 12th - in 1415. benedict became pope in 2005.succeeding john paul the second. he may be worn down in part by controversy. almost from the start - he's been criticized for being part of the church hierarchy more worried about its reputation than the sexual abuse of children. as a german bishop in the 80's - he directly helped shield a priest who had abused children. and in 2001 - as a cardinal put in charge of dealing with the growing controversy - he wrote a letter ordering u.s. bishops - under pain of excommunication - to never tell law enforcement about sex abuse cases. telling them to be "restrained by perpetual silence." other have been critical of the pope's conservative views on issues like contraception and gay rights. the retired pope won't be involved in naming a successor.still he appointed more than half the cardinals who will be making that decision. church observers expect the next pope to continue his conservative tradition. it's the college of cardinals which picks a new pope. they're expected to get together quickly to find a new lea
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